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Fri Nov 30, 2012, 07:24 PM

Rubio and the Age-of-Earth Question

An op-ed in the WSJ By S. Joshua Swamidass who is a professor in the Laboratory and Genomic Medicine Division at Washington University in St. Louis.

Sen. Marco Rubio recently touched a land mine in America's culture wars: evolution, creation and the age of the Earth. When GQ magazine asked him how old the planet is, Mr. Rubio's winding response never directly answered the question. Instead, he noted his lack of scientific qualifications ("I'm not a scientist, man"), posited a need to teach the "multiple theories out there on how the universe was created," and settled into the platitude that the Earth's age is an unsolvable "mystery."

(snip)

First, the age of the Earth and the rejection of evolution aren't core Christian beliefs. Neither appears in the Nicene or Apostle's Creed. Nor did Jesus teach them. Historical Christianity has not focused on how God created the universe, but on how God saves humanity through Jesus' death and resurrection.

Currently, a debate is unfolding in theological seminaries and conferences about the correct interpretation of the Bible's Genesis account of creation. Echoing thinkers like St. Augustine, C.S. Lewis, Mark Noll and Pope John Paul II, many of the conservative theologians in the debate believe that a serious reading of Genesis can be compatible with the scientific account of our origins.

(snip)

The second reason that Republicans, including evangelicals, need to come up with a more coherent stance regarding the "age of the Earth" question—which journalists will always be happy to ask—is that there is simply no controversy in the scientific world about the age of the Earth or evolution. Evidence points to a 4.5-billion-year-old planet.

The evidence for evolution is just as strong. In the past, evolution rested on ambiguous fossil evidence, but now it rests on much clearer DNA evidence that increases exponentially every month. Fully appreciating this evidence takes a lot of time, reading and patience. And it is not appropriate to "teach the controversy" in science class because there is no ongoing debate in the scientific community comparable to the theological debate.

(snip)

Republicans have a clear path through the minefield of how-old-is-the-Earth gotcha questions. Let's leave science curriculums to scientists.

(snip)

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324469304578141673721798486.html


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Reply Rubio and the Age-of-Earth Question (Original post)
question everything Nov 2012 OP
elleng Nov 2012 #1
immoderate Nov 2012 #2
muriel_volestrangler Dec 2012 #3
question everything Dec 2012 #4

Response to question everything (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 07:33 PM

1. Making a big deal out of nothing, imo.

As I understood what he said, it was just 'Who am I? What do I know?' NOT denying evolution or scientific approaches to age of earth.

There are MANY more matters about which to take issue against Rubio and repugs, and its just silly to waste any time on this one.

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Response to elleng (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 08:30 PM

2. Agree. I think he "wants out" of making cosmic decisions that don't help him.

There's a no-win argument for almost any politician.

--imm

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Response to elleng (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:15 AM

3. It indicates either appalling ignorance on Rubio's part, or cowardice in not acknowledging facts

because he's being bullied by religious fundamentalists and won't stand up to them. Either way, it shows him to be unfit for public office.

We cannot have people who cannot understand or talk about simple scientific facts making decisions about things like climate policy.

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Response to elleng (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 03:22 PM

4. That Rubio thing was a starting point to his other points

that "historical Christianity has not focused on how God created the universe, but on how God saves humanity through Jesus' death and resurrection."

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